Forgive the glibness of my title. Book burnings are a Republican thing—an exercise full of sound and fury signifying fear and ignorance. But I just couldn’t resist the turn of phrase. Bill Barr should have considered “Audacity” as a title for his book but may have thought better of it---too trite, too revealing, perhaps. The irony that drips from its title should be enough to dissuade us from adding it to our “must-read list”--One Damn Thing After Another is about as subtle as his Mueller Report redactions. I refuse to buy the “damn thing” out of principle---yet if ever a book deserves a critique this one does. I’ll forgo that task and leave it to those who get paid to read bad fiction. While AG, Barr presided over a DOJ that not only overlooked criminality but served it. If the quote I read from The Washington Post is to be believed, The nation's top law enforcer has made a case that he should be investigated for dereliction of duty while in office. Here is the quote that forced me to write:
"We need leaders not only capable of fighting and 'punching,' but also persuading and attracting -- leaders who can frame, and advocate for, an uplifting vision of what it means to share in American citizenship,"
--William Barr, One Damn Thing After Another
You see, someone who believes in those words could not possibly have performed as he did during his tenure at DOJ. Could not possibly have sanitized the Mueller Report findings as he did, or defended administrative malfeasance, or, for that matter, supported the crimes of the man who betrayed his nation as his boss did. For Barr to write without shame as The Post reports that ‘Donald Trump has shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers of a leader’ displays a glaring lack of integrity that Barr will slither his way through history defending. How rich for Barr to tell us that his boss lacked the qualities of leadership. Imagine, Barr thought that in the end, Trump was not aspirational enough for the author—another opportunity to quote John Lovitz’ Tommy Flanagan—“Yeah, that’s the ticket!”
confessions of a consigliere
The list of books that deserve our opprobrium is perhaps as long as those that we esteem. Even the likes of Mein Kampf deserve a reading, if only as cautionary tales. This one deserves not to be bought. Enriching this author for his feckless “memoir” would further his crimes. If we really had wanted to know what was happening in the White House during the Trump regime, we only would have had to read the tweets. The man who famously refused to read anything inspired far too many Apologias. No, Barr is not alone in this particular category of shameless authors. His arrogance is only the latest example of former MAGA officials and hangers-on who seek to enrich themselves at our expense. The accumulated gall of the bad actors of the previous administration who write to tell us of their private battles of conscience and secret regrets is most distressing because of their chosen audience. The dollars and acquittal they seek, the understanding and vindication they expect, are directed at the very people they despised and showed contempt for during their tenure. The assortment of Nazi-white supremacist-racist-misogynist-intolerant deplorables they wantonly chose to serve, whose agendas they championed to the country’s detriment, would rather burn this title instead of reading it. They wouldn’t spend a plugged-nickel on Barr’s drivel. Neither should we.